As my friend comes around the corner to meet me for a photo session highlighting my new tankini, the first words out of her mouth were “ooh that is CUTE!” A big smile on my face and mental happy dance, we head off for the indoor pool. Skip forward a couple of hours and I gave the suit to a co-worker to try on for fit. The next day she passed it to another co-worker to try it on…who LOVED it! RAVED about it! and days later is still talking about it!
So, I would say that the pattern was a success! Now let me tell you what I think about it!
**Disclaimer** I received a complimentary copy of both patterns as a result of testing the pattern. All opinions are my own!
- Bikini (or sports bra)
- Straight or gathered tankini
- Ruched side tankini
- Maternity tankini
Bikini Bottoms: think of these as more of a hipster style
- low cut and higher cut legs
- Maternity, low, medium and high rise
- Swim skirt
Size: 5oo4 patterns drafts for a 5’9″ person and B cup. The pattern’s size ranges from XXS to 3XL. I find that her sizes run consistently from pattern to pattern and I have to do the following changes:
- In order to fit my D-cup, I select a size L (using my high bust measurement) and do a 1″ FBA (2″ total)
- Grade the hips to an XL
- Shorten the hem by 2″ since I am 5’7″
For the bottoms, I did not have to make any adjustments and sewed a straight XL.
Fabric: The pattern calls for swimsuit fabric with 4 way stretch and swimsuit lining. I do not traditional swim lining as it is too thin and non-supportive. I have found that I like to have my outer layer with super stretch compression tricot. The tricot is soft enough to use as the lining and is used for shapewear. For even more support, sandwich a layer of powermesh between the two layers!
The turquoise tank is made with a very soft cotton lyrca that has excellent drape. I lined it with the compression tricot for a bra less option. It is supportive, but I think with the next version I am going to add a layer of power mesh for even more support.
Construction: This pattern is good for a confident beginner as swimwear is very slippery. I found that basting the layers together for both the tankini and the bottoms helped ensure that the material did not slip while binding (tankini) or when sewing/stretching the elastic (bottoms). The actual construction itself is straight forward. I really hate the elastic binding for the legs, but I feel that that is my error and not the patterns. The method that has to be used in order for the bottoms to be reversible is a bit tricky and getting the stretch just right is a matter of practice!
Overall: I love the sporty look of this pattern. As a curvy gal, I like the bust coverage and will not have to worry about romping around with my children in the water. This is a tankini that is meant to be played in and look good while doing it! I generally lean towards boy short bottoms or skirt cover-ups as I do not find bikini bottoms flattering. However, I really love the look of these bottoms. I sewed up the lowcut leg/ highrise version and think they look like a sporty hipster that gives the perfect coverage!
Tell me what you think!